Knowing God’s Presence

Posted by Jerry White on Jun 6, 2016

It is far better to know God’s presence by faith than to know it by feelings.
This generation wants to feel something, whether it is the loud music from huge speakers at a concert, or the thunderous sound of explosions in a movie theatre, or stirring praise music in church. Political correctness has become an issue because of various sensitivities. We are instructed that we must not hurt anyone’s feelings so everyone feels included and their feelings are protected.
In recent years among Christians an increasing emphasis on sensing or feeling God’s presence has occurred. I have been a part of this, but I have had a growing discomfort about it. Has this become a badge of God’s blessing upon one’s ministry? Does it represent God’s approval? Is it a sign of success? Oh, there are times when our Lord graciously draws near and His presence deeply affects us. We bow and humbly worship. But just because our feelings are stirred up does not mean the presence of God has been revealed among us. Beautiful praise music with stirring words can move our souls to tears but it is not necessarily because of God’s presence.
Faith pleases God; good feelings please me. This raises a question. Do I want to please and honor Him or do I want Him to bless and please me? I cannot think of a Scripture where the early believers emphasized feeling God’s presence. There were times of dramatic encounters with the living God, but they were the exception, not the rule.
Through faith on the basis of God’s sure Word I can always know God’s presence, and this honors Him. Feelings, or sensing, has nothing to do with it. Believing God’s promises has everything to do with it. He promised His invisible presence repeatedly. The issue is, will I believe it, receive it and enjoy it with a glad, rejoicing and thankful heart? Knowing God’s presence by faith delivers me from needing anything other than God’s promise. I do not need special music, or a worship gathering, or a worship leader. Alone in a quiet place one can profoundly know the Lord’s presence again and again without any outside stimulus. An open believing heart receives, and this faith pleases and honors God. When He is pleased there will be moments when He gives Himself so there is a deep sensing of His nearness.

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I Must Have Christ

Posted by Jerry White on Oct 19, 2014

“When Jesus is absent from a true heir of heaven, sorrow will ensue. The healthier a person’s condition the sooner that absence will be perceived and the more deeply it will be mourned. This sorrow is described in the text as darkness [Song of Solomon 2:16-17, KJV), which is implied in the expression, ‘Until the day break.’ Until Christ appears, no day has dawned for us. We dwell in midnight darkness, the stars of the promises and the moon of experience yield no light of comfort until our Lord, like the sun, arises and ends the night. We must have Christ with us, we are left to grope for the wall like blind men, and we wander in dismay….”

“When communion with Christ is broken, there is a strong desire in all true hearts to win it back again. If a person loses the joy of communion with Christ, he will never be content until it is restored. Have you ever entertained Prince Immanuel? Has He gone elsewhere? Your heart will be a dreary place until He comes back again.

‘Give me Christ, or else I will die,’ is the cry of every soul who has lost the dear companionship of Jesus. We do not part easily with such heavenly delights. With us it is not a matter of, ‘Maybe He will return, and we hope He will.’ Instead, ‘He must return, or we will become weak and die.’ We cannot live without Him, and this is a comforting sign, for the soul who cannot live without Him will not live without Him. He comes quickly when life and death depend on His coming. If you must have Christ, you will have Him. This is just how the matter stands: we must drink of this well or we will die of thirst; we must feed upon Jesus or our spirits will starve.”
Charles Spurgeon
Joy in Christ’s Presence, 49, 51

“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, therefore I will hope in him.”
The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.

Lamentations 3:24-26 (ESV)

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Not Left Alone

Posted by Jerry White on Jun 2, 2014

I will not leave you as orphans.
John 14:18

“One of the greatest sorrows that an orphan has springing out of the death of his parent is that he is left alone. He cannot now make appeals to the wisdom of the parent who could direct him, He cannot run, when he is weary, to climb on his father’s knee as he once did. He cannot lean his aching head against his parent’s chest. ‘Father,’ he may say, but no voice answers him. ‘Mother,’ he may cry, but that fond title, which would awaken the mother if she slept, cannot arouse her from the bed of death. The child is alone, far from those two hearts which were his best companions. The parents are gone. Such little ones know what it is to be deserted and forsaken.

But we are not so; we are not orphans. It is true that Jesus is not here in body, but His spiritual presence is quite as blessed as His bodily presence would have been. Actually, it is better, for if Jesus Christ were here in person, we could not all come and touch the hem of His garment—-not all at once, at any rate. There might be thousands waiting all over the world to speak with Him. but how could they all reach Him if He were merely here in body? Everyone might be waiting to tell Him something, but in body He could only receive one or two at a time.

But there is no need for you to say a word; Jesus hears your thoughts and attends to all your needs in the same moment. There is no need to press to get at Him because the crowd is large, for He is as near to me as He is to you, and as near to you as to believers all over the world. He is present everywhere, and all HIs beloved may talk with Him. You can tell Him at this moment the sorrows that you dare not open up to anyone else. In declaring them to Him, you will feel that you have hardly breathed them into the air before He has heard you. He is a real person, one so real that it is as if you could grip His hand and see the loving sparkle of His eye and the sympathetic look of His countenance.”
Charles Spurgeon
Joy in Christ’s Presence, 173-174

Today enjoy His presence with you by speaking often with Him as you go through your day—-words of thankfulness, expressing your needs, and speaking of your trust in Him.

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His Abiding Presence

Posted by Jerry White on Apr 20, 2014

“The lesson is a deep and most needed one for all who long for Jesus to manifest himself to them. The knowledge of Jesus, fellowship with Him and the experience of His power, is not possible without the sacrifice of all there is in us of the world and its spirit. The disciples experienced this from Christ’s first ordination charge (reported in Matt. 10:37-39). He spoke about forsaking father and mother, about taking up the cross, about losing our life for His sake; down to the days before His death when He said, ‘I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life’ (John 12:24, 25). Christ made this the one great charge: Deny self; bear the cross, and follow me.

We are seeking to find out the secret of getting into touch with the Lord Jesus Christ so His abiding presence shall be our portion every day. Let us accept the lesson: through death to life. In the power of Christ Jesus (with whom we have been crucified, and whose death now works in us, if we will yield ourselves to it), death to sin and to the world with all its self-pleasing and self-exaltation must be the deepest law of our spiritual life. Peter said to Christ, ‘Spare thyself’ (marginal note, Matt. 16:22, KJV). Jesus said to him, ‘Deny yourself.’ The disciples followed Christ even to the cross; therefore, they were prepared to receive their Master’s word: ‘And surely I will be with you always.’”
Andrew Murray
The Believer’s Secret of the Abiding Presence, 68
Compiled by Louis Gifford Parkhurst, Jr.

The Holy Spirit from the Lord Jesus is always present with us and in us (John 14:16-17). His presence is constant and accessible every moment. He is nearer to us than He was to the disciples when Jesus walked the dusty roads with them. His resurrection presence is true so we can enjoy His company, rely upon Him, and most of all, give Him pleasure and delight. He said that He would never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). You can cultivate this awareness so that throughout your day you enjoy His company and have moments of sweet fellowship with this incomparable Lord.

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Jesus—Always Present

Posted by Jerry White on Apr 6, 2014

And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
Matthew 28:20 (ESV)
“When I think of all the struggles and difficulties and failures of which many complain, knowing that many are trying to make a new effort to begin a holy life, their hearts fearing all the time that they would fail again owing to so many difficulties and temptations and the natural weakness of their character, my heart longs to be able to tell them, in words so simple that a little child could understand, the secret of the Christian life.

It is simply the presence of the Lord Jesus. That is the secret of the Christian’s strength and joy. You know that when He was upon earth, He was present in bodily form with His disciples.They walked about together all day, and at night they went into the same house and sometimes slept together. It was the presence of Jesus that was the training school of His disciples. They were bound to Him by that wonderful intercourse of love during three long years. In that intercourse they learned to know Christ, and Christ instructed and corrected them and prepared them for what they were afterward to receive. And when He is about to go away, He says to them, ‘Lo, I am with you alway [all the days], even unto the end of the world’ (Matthew 28:20).

What a promise! Just as really as Christ was with Peter in the boat, just as Christ sat with John at the table, as really can I have Christ with me—-and more really, for they had their Christ in the body and He was to them a man, an individual separate from them, but I may have the glorified Christ in the power of the throne of God, the omnipotent Christ, the omnipresent Christ.

How can that be? Because Christ is God and because Christ, after having been made man, went up into the throne and the life of God. And now that blessed Christ Jesus, with His loving, pierced heart; that blessed Jesus Christ, who lived upon earth; that same Christ glorified into the glory of God can be in me and can be with me all the days….

When Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Lo, I am with you alway,’ He meant it in the fullness of the divine omnipresence, in the fullness of the divine love, and He longs to reveal Himself to you and to me as we have never seen Him before.”

Andrew Murray
Jesus Himself: A Call to Spiritual Intimacy, 18-20 (a pamphlet)
Wherever you go and whatever you must do today, the Lord Jesus is with you, closer than your own breath and with love incomprehensible. Receive and enjoy His presence with simple trust.

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